It is a device that you can connect to a computer and all differ in size to transform computer-based plugins into an entirely hands-on playing experience. It provides real-time control and feedback of all virtual instruments.
Some MIDI boards are made for portability which is why they are extremely light and made out of plastic. But the downside is this can take away its sturdiness.
MIDI keyboards come in various sizes, usually with either 25, 49, or 88 keys. Most models offer multiple key configurations, so you can pick the best one for your needs and portability requirements. For example, M-AUDIO’s popular model Keystation MK3 comes with 88 keys or you can choose their 49-Key or their Mini 32 MK3.
With these MIDI keyboards, users can play and create music with much freedom and ease.
The Akai Professional Advance 49 often gets compared to the cheaper version of the Komplete Kontrol MIDI board. You can use it as a stand-alone keyboard for a live gig using a MIDI out port and a power adapter.
An one of its kind gestural MIDI ring controller. You can wear the Genki Wave on your finger and use natural gestures moving your hand to control sound. This MIDI controller recognizes six gestures: Tilt, Pan, Roll, Vibrato, Tap, and Click.
One of the most highly reviewed MIDI keyboards out there with a booming rating of 4.8 stars out of 5 on Amazon. They have options for 25 keys, 37 keys, 49 keys, and of course 61 keys. The best part about it is its Deep Ableton Live integration which allows you to easily access all the controls.
If you are already way deep in the Native Instrument ecosystem then this is for you. Native Instruments has several models for MIDI keyboards but if you are serious about music production then this is for you.
One of the cheapest yet highly reviewed MIDI boards. It comes in 49 keys, 61, and 88 Keys. We love it for its simple layout – it removes all the pads and sliders which gives you that pro feeling. It has both a pitch and modulation slider.
Once you’ve experienced the Native Instrument environment we feel like there is no going back. Komplete Kontrol users usually do an upgrade with S61. It has pro-grade Fatar keybeds with aftertouch – 61 semi-weighted keys with pitch and mod wheels. With pre-mapped control of Komplete instruments and hundreds of Native Kontrol Standard (NKS) instruments.
If you’re serious about music and want a keyboard that can do it all, the Oxygen Pro is for you. M-Audio’s highest-end offering comes with semi-weighted keys, meaning that it feels and plays like a real piano. Playing on the Oxygen Pro feels much more realistic and accurate compared to using a cheaper keyboard with hollow keys.
You also get 16 customizable RGB-lit pads and 8 assignable knobs, along with 9 assignable faders and the usual pitch and modulation wheels. What’s even better is that the Oxygen Pro features Auto-Mapping, which means you can instantly map all the keyboard’s controls to your DAW without having to individually assign each function.
The Oxygen Pro is available in a variety of key configurations, including the most popular 49 and 88-key versions.
Besides being a MIDI keyboard, Arturia’s Keystep 37 also functions as a sequencer, which means you can hook it up to your hardware synthesizers. This is great for musicians and producers who want to use more than just a keyboard to create their tracks.
The Playtron MIDI Controller offers a unique way to create your own custom MIDI controller. It has the ability to connect up to 16 objects with alligator clips. This allows you to use it with several mobile apps, online synthesizers, or your favourite DAW.
From fruits to plants, and even toys, the possibilities are endless. Connect the clips from objects capable of conducting electricity to Playtron, and assign a different MIDI note (C1 to D#2 by default) to each object. Then, you can start playing and creating your own unique sounds!
TouchMe allows you to connect to objects in the same way as Playtron. However, this is a sensory device as it is set to react differently to the touch. Meaning, when the area of touch and intensity changes, the sound changes too, causing the pitch to go higher or lower!
Thanks for reading our article on the 8 best MIDI keyboards for live performances and musicians! We at Soundbrenner are dedicated to helping musicians stay focused on what truly matters: their music. By creating innovative devices, such as Soundbrenner Pulse and Core, our goal is to deliver the best possible practice experience for musicians. Click here to find out more.
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